VNA Home Inc. in New Milford has earned the Joint Commission\u2019s Gold Seal of Approval for Home Care Accreditation. To earn the seal \u2014 a symbol of quality that reflects an organization\u2019s commitment to providing safe and effective care \u2014 the local agency had to demonstrate continuous compliance with the commission\u2019s performance standards. During a May 7-8 on-site survey, compliance with home care standards reflecting key organization areas was evaluated, including the provision of care, treatment and services, emergency management, human resources, individual rights and responsibilities and leadership. The accreditation process also provided VNA Home Inc. with education and guidance to help staff continue to improve its home care program\u2019s performance. VNA Home Inc., which is affiliated with New Milford VNA & Hospice, provides short- and long-term, non-medical, in-home services for individuals age zero through end of life. Day and night, hourly or live-in care on a temporary or long-term basis is available through the private duty agency. Offerings include homemaker\/companion, personal, and Alzheimer\u2019s and dementia care. \u201cStaff from across our organization continues to work together to strengthen the continuum of care and to deliver and maintain optimal home care services for those in our community,\u201d said Nichole Brant, program director of VNA Home, Inc. Brant has been with the agency since its ribbon cutting in March 2014 and has held several roles, including scheduler and client care coordinator. She was named program director last September. Brant said the agency\u2019s goal is to ensure clients\u2019 needs are met. \u201cIt\u2019s important to try and ensure that they can stay (in their home), if that\u2019s what they want,\u201d said Brant, who grew up in New Milford and Washington. Arline Hulton, a 99-year-old retired nurse from New Milford, managed the aging process well but recognized four years ago there were some tasks she could no longer do as well, so she reached to VNA Home. \u201cThey offer excellent service,\u201d she said. \u201cThey recognize what I want and need and do it.\u201d Brant said when a client reaches out to the agency, staff will gather information to determine a client\u2019s needs. An in-home assessment will follow and a care plan will be implemented. All employees are thoroughly screened, undergo a background check and participate in continuing education. \u201cWe are selective in who we hire,\u201d Brant said. \u201cWe won\u2019t hire someone I wouldn\u2019t hire for my family.\u201d Rich Peagler, of upstate New York, praised the agency for its services provided to his mother, Orel Robinson, the past few years. Robinson\u2019s hospital stay led to time at a skilled care facility before she went home and received services from NMVNA and eventually VNA Home. \u201cAt every turn, the VNA (and its affiliates) would respond,\u201d Peagler said, noting finding an agency that is accredited and vets its staff was paramount when coordinating care for his mother. \u201cThey\u2019ve been good to my mom and looked out for her safety,\u201d Peagler said, adding that \u201ceases his conscience\u201d since he lives several hours away. Brant emphasized the ongoing relationship between NMVNA and VNA Home. If an employee recognizes a change in a client, the agency can refer to a VNA nurse who can conduct an evaluation, potentially avoiding a client trip to the doctor. The agency can also refer clients to a geriatric care manager, and offer support to low income clients through the There\u2019s Always Hope Fund can provide assistance for low income clients. Brant said being a part of VNA Home and its growth, including the recent acknowledgment, is rewarding. \u201cI love being here and growing professionally with this organization, and seeing the organization grow like it has,\u201d she said. \u201cIt\u2019s incredible.\u201d VNA Home, at 1 Old Park Lane Road, Unit #1 in New Milford, can be reached by calling 860-946-6161 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.vnahome.org.